Brad Lidge Lives, Pitches Scoreless 1-2-3 Seventh Inning

Brad Lidge Lives, Pitches Scoreless 1-2-3 Seventh Inning

Charlie Manuel has said for weeks now that he'd love some help in the back of the Phillies bullpen before the trade deadline passes at the end of the month.

Brad Lidge probably wasn't exactly what Manuel had in mind when voicing his desires, but the former Lights Out closer could help in a big way down the stretch. And he showed a nice glimpse of how good he can be in his first appearance of the season for the Phillies against the Padres this afternoon.

Lidge may not have full confidence just yet in his fastball's velocity, only throwing two heaters out of eleven pitches on the day -- one at 89 mph and another at 90 mph according to the telecast.

But one thing is clear: Lidge's slider was still plenty nasty. And he threw 9 of them, with plenty of bite to show for it.

He came in to pitch the seventh inning, replacing Andrew Carpenter who pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Cliff Lee.

Lidge got Will Veneble to ground out to first, struck out Kyle Blanks, and forced Jesus Guzman to ground out to third to end the inning. The slider looked fantastic.

Charlie Manuel was happy with the way Lidge threw.

"He had a good inning. He did very well," Manuel said. "He threw strikes. Slider was
good. Spotted his fastball. Didn't throw a lot of 'em, but when he did,
he kinda used it and sat on the hitters."

What would it mean to the Phils' bullpen if Lidge can return to form?

"It would mean we'd have another piece that can pitch from the seventh inning on back," Manuel said. "That's big."

Fans in attendance gave Lidge a South Philadelphia ovation (good kind) as he walked off the mound to end the inning. After spending half the season on the DL, it must have felt fantastic.

Bullpen mate Michael Stutes was also great for the Phils on Monday, pitching two scoreless innings of his own. The pen kept them in it, but the bats failed to overcome the late deficit.

Final score: Padres 5, Phillies 4.

Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3

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Instant Replay: Phillies 4, Reds 3

BOX SCORE

The Phillies rallied for a 4-3 walk-off win over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Tommy Joseph won it with a single up the middle with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. The hit scored Aaron Altherr, who had singled and moved to second on a wild pitch.

The Phils have won just six of their last 27 games. Joseph has had a walk-off, game-winning hit in the last two wins.

In addition to Joseph, who also homered, the star of the game was the Phillies' bullpen. Four Phils' relievers combined on 3 2/3 scoreless innings after starter Jerad Eickhoff exited. The Phillies' bullpen is riding a 19 2/3-innings scoreless streak.

Starting pitching report
Eickhoff allowed eight hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings. He gave up a bunt hit and a two-run homer to the first two batters of the game but took a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning. He allowed a leadoff single and a one-out RBI double in that inning as the Reds tied the game at 3-3.

Veteran Bronson Arroyo, back in action at age 40 after recovering from surgery the last two seasons, gave up three runs — all on solo homers — over five innings.

Bullpen report
Good work by Edubray Ramos to get two outs in the sixth to strand a runner in scoring position and preserve a 3-3 tie. Pat Neshek, Joaquin Benoit and Hector Neris each followed with a scoreless inning. Neris struck out dangerous Joey Votto on a splitter with a man on base to end the top of the ninth. He got the win.

Austin Brice pitched two scoreless innings for the Reds. Michael Lorenzen took the loss. He gave up two hits in the ninth. Joseph's game-winning hit came on a 97 mph heater.

At the plate
Cesar Hernandez, Michael Saunders and Joseph all clouted solo homers for the Phillies. Joseph has six homers in his last 21 games.

Zack Cozart smacked a two-run homer against Eickhoff in the first inning. The Reds tied the game on a one-out double by Scooter Gennett in the sixth.

Remembering Bunning
Jim Bunning died Friday night. Larry Bowa recalled the impact that the Hall of Famer had on his career (see story).

Up next
The series concludes Sunday afternoon. Zach Eflin (0-2, 5.36) and Scott Feldman (3-4, 3.99) are the pitchers.

Soul hold off Valor in 48-47 win, remain unbeaten on the season

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Soul hold off Valor in 48-47 win, remain unbeaten on the season

The Soul on Saturday survived a late scare and moved to 7-0 on the season with a 48-47 win over the Washington Valor at Verizon Center.

With 41 seconds left, the Valor scored a touchdown and appeared poised to tie up the game. However, a fumbled snap led to a failed extra-point attempt and the Soul promptly recovered the ensuing onside kick.

"It’s hard to win a game in arena football, but we'll take them any way we can," Soul head coach Clint Dolezel told the team's official website. "We are definitely happy with 7-0 and looking forward to this bye week to get healed up and ready to finish the second half of the season." 

Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh led the way with 148 passing yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Ryan McDaniel led the team with four receptions, racking up 49 yards, while Darius Reynolds had 54 yards on three receptions. Each receiver reeled in two touchdown catches while Shaun Kauleinamoku accounted for the fifth score.

Running back Mykel Benson ran in a one-yard touchdown while Chirs Duvalt returned a kickoff 58 yards for a touchdown before halftime.

The Soul have a bye week before returning to the Wells Fargo Center on June 10 to face the Cleveland Gladiators.